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School bullying can take many, many forms. Still, in media these "forms" often follow some distinct behavioral patterns, which are especially notorious in Japanese media and double if it's a shoujo manga (hence the name of the trope). Still, the bullying seen in other kind of manga (especially shounen or jousei) and in some Western media may also fit the bill.

While the Alpha Bitch, the Beta Bitch, the Girl Posse and the Jerk Jock are the most usual perpetrators, it's not uncommon for a nerd to be one as well. Heck, maybe the nerd was a bully victim and ultimately became what s/he hated for one or another reason. Also, there will often by a Bully Hunter who's ready to tell the bullies to piss off.

Here is a list of some of the most common bullying behaviors related to this trope:

  • Theft and vandalism: the victim's belongings are taken away and either hidden, thrown into the trash, ripped or used as "bargaining chips" between victim and bully/bullies. In Japan people tend to steal indoor shoes, throw away or damage school desks (often with graffiti or garbage), etc.
  • Gossip: bullies spread rumors about the victim, especially about them being slutty or violent.
  • Silent Treatment: ignoring the victim and acting like s/he isn't there. The contrary is also true: bullies often corner their victims to yell at them or beat them up, if not both.
  • Pretending they can't hear what the victim is saying, especially if they're reading aloud in class.
  • Written threats: in the forms of letters, e-mails, texts, etc.
  • Written messages about the victim in public, generally via writing them in the class whiteboard.
  • Force Feeding, usually bugs.
  • Japan only: placing flowers on the victim's desk, which is considered as an implied death threat/wish.

Unsurprisingly and sadly, it's Truth in Television. In the specific case of Japan, school bullying is such a huge problem that it has led to spikes in youth violence and especially in teenage suicide.

Anime and Manga

Shoujo Manga/Anime

  • A staple of romance-centered shoujo manga is having the heroine deal with bullies, more often than not coming from her attracting the attention of the local hottie. As such, many examples from the list will fit in this pattern.
  • Mars's first volume has Harumi and her Girl Posse pull an especially dangerous version of this on heroine Kira Aso after local bad boy Rei Kashino starts paying attention to her. They accost her in the hallways, threaten her, and then Harumi nearly smashes Kira's fingers with a hand weight until Rei comes to the rescue. Harumi gets a smack to the face and a legitimate death threat from Rei for her troubles.
    • In the second volume, Kira gets attacked again, this time by another group of girls who hate her for getting a popular boy expelled when he steals credit for her art. Shockingly, it's Harumi who puts a stop to it this time, telling the girls that such behavior is embarrassing for high school seniors.
  • Peach Girl has Momo being harassed because, as a Dark-Skinned Blonde, she's mistaken for a Ko-Gal and therefore believed to be slutty. It doesn't help that the Alpha Bitch Sae encourages said bullying due to envy.
  • Oniisama E should be renamed as "School Bullying: the Manga". Nanako Misonoo is a victim of near EVERY single tactic in the book (and not only from Alpha Bitch Aya and her Girl Posse) as soon as she's chosen to be a member of the Sorority aka her school's Absurdly Powerful Student Council despite not being from a rich family (she's "merely" middle-upper class) AND having just come into the Elevator School itself.
    • By extension, Nanako's first school friend Mariko is also targeted by Aya, though in her case it's because she defends Nanako AND for It's Personal reasons.
  • Another candidate to  "School Bullying: the Manga" is Hana Yori Dango, where the F4 Clique run by the male lead Tsukasa and his buddies (Akira, Soujirou and Rui) pretty much rules the student body and can single-handedly lead them to bully anyone they want. The action is kicked off when the female lead Tsukushi decides to not only stand up for one of their victims, but to beat up Tsukasa in public - Tsukasa, who until then had near always gotten his way, is both furious and intrigued by Tsukushi from then on, and they engage in massive Belligerent Sexual Tension...
  • Candy Candy
    • In the Boarding School arc, Candy (an orphan taken in by a very rich family per instructions of her Mysterious Protector aka The Patriarch of said family) is bullied not just by Alpha Bitch Eliza and her Girl Posse but by Eliza's younger brother Neil and his buddies, and occasionally others take part of it. I.e., when Candy arrives at Saint Paul Academy she doesn't know about the dress code rules (wearing a black uniform in Sundays instead of the standard white one) and is cruelly mocked by everyone and ESPECIALLY the aforementioned group when she shows up in the normal white uniform (Not helped by the very strict nuns refusing to let her change). Eliza spreads Malicious Slander about Candy among the students (which causes some friction with her roommate Patricia at first), and later Neil and his friends trick her into going to the woods and then corner her, verbally harassing her until Terry shows up to set things straight.
    • Candy's close friend Annie, also the adoptive child of a rich family, hid her humble origins and her friendship with Candy when she came to the same school, out of fear of being bullied. It didn't work: Eliza, who also knows Annie from years ago, soon started harassing the heck out of her.
    • When Candy arrived to Miss Mary Jane's Nursing School, her classmates and fellow nurses-in-training (near all of them being working-class girls) mistakenly believed that she was a Spoiled Brat who saw nursing as a hobby and iced her out. Fortunately, Candy proved her worth and the girls came to respect hger
  • Tokyo Babylon has a case featuring a girl named Kuniko Hashimoto, who is totally ignored by her classmates when they're not treating her like shit. She first appears when the class is organizing a trip; she sits alone, and when the teacher asks the other students if someone will join her, nobody wants to. She transfers to a new school and she's bullied there too, with some girls tossing volley balls at her in PE class; Subaru arrives there too and tries to help her deal with it while investigating the school itself...
    • In X 1999, Yuzuriha was harassed at her former school because her classmates couldn't see her dog spirit Inuki and thought he was her Imaginary Friend, so they bullied her over it.
  • Kodomo no Omocha:
    • At the start of the story, Akito Hayama and his friends are the bullies and at some point they almost drown Sana's friend Mami when she tries to call him out and accidentally presses Akito's biggest Berserk Button (calling him a demon). Sana Kurata decides to call Akito out on his shit, which causes Akito to fixate on her.
      • Later, when Akito has more or less reformed, he once tries to give (rather blunt) advice to Mami when she's in trouble, but she harshly and then fearfully rejects him. Sana's mother Misako tells him that it's his own fault since Mami cannot forgive him for what he did to her.
    • Later, Sana gets bullied more than once by other people, especially her Dogged Nice Guy Naozumi's fangirls. At least once she's cornered and has her clothes slashed, which reveals her Modesty Shorts.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena: The entire plot is kicked off by Saionji pinning Wakaba's love letter to him on the board and getting the other students to read it out loud and laugh at it. Poor Wakaba is in tears, understandably, and a pissed-off Utena challenges Saionji to a fight as revenge for her friend. And in the process, she "gains" Anthy. It turns out that Anthy was the one who pinned up the letter, to manipulate Saionji and Utena into a duel and bring Utena into her brother Akio's plot.
  • School bullying is quite the theme in Fruits Basket:
    • The title of the manga itself comes from a bullying-related incident that happened to Tohru Honda, the protagonist. Fruits Basket Turnover is a child's game based on assigning fruits names to the players and calling them up by turns. Tohru was always called "onigiri" alias "rice ball", and soon she realized that since she'd never be called forth, the kids did that to bully her.
    • In high school, Tohru is harassed by the Alpha Bitch Motoko and her Girl Posse for being close friends with the very popular Yuki Sohma, whom the girls idolize and adore... though Tohru's best friends, Arisa Uotani and Saki Hanajima, do their best to protect her. They go as far as rigging the cast for a School Play that Tohru and Yuki are supposed to be in, and as Tohru's friends try to undo this "damage", Hilarity Ensues.
    • Saki herself was BADLY bullied in elementary and middle school, due to her Psychic Powers. In elementary a boy tried to force-feed her bugs and caused her a Power Incontinence episode where she almost killed him with her waves; in junior high a bunch of girls pinned her down and tried to burn her arm to test her powers, and when a teacher stepped in they said they were trying to stop Saki from self-harming. Due to this, poor Saki had lots of trouble relating to others and it took Arisa and Tohru a lot to actually reach for her.
    • Yuki's cousin Kisa Sohma is a middle schooler whose uncommon hair color upsets her classmates, who subject her to the "silencing" tactic: they refuse to speak to her, then mock her if she ever says anything. That's why she becomes a Cute Mute until Tohru reaches for her.
    • In the sequel Fruits Basket Another, the Tohru expy Sawa Mitoma was bullied as a little girl by kids who isolated her and told her she was annoying to her very face. This is why she's a huge Nervous Wreck. It's later explained that Sawa's very bitchy mother got into fights with the parents of these kids, which is why they dislike her.
  • In Kare Kano, Alpha Bitch Maho and her friends lead the whole class into doing this to Yukino after it's revealed that she's not the "perfect girl" she pretends to be at school. And a short while later, Maho is at the receiving end.
  • Sailor Moon had this, especially in the first anime:
    • When Makoto first appeared in Usagi's school, everyone fears her due to her bad fame as a delinquent and refuses to approach her until Usagi does so. In the first series she was also iced-out in her old school, save for the Cute Bookworm Tomoko and her old friend Ken.
    • Ami is implied and later confirmed to be looked down by other kids who think she's too arrogant over her good grades, when in reality she's a Shy Blue-Haired Girl. In the first anime, she's temporarily shunned by everyone but her friends when the Monster of the Week frames her for cheating at school.
    • The R movie has some flashbacks where not only the bullying that Ami and Mako went through is touched on again, but it's revealed that Minako used to be the center of gossip since her classmates thought she was too childish and weird for their taste. Rei isn't bullied at school (in fact, she's a bit of a School Idol), but adults talk shit about her behind her back because of her Psychic Powers.
    • In the first anime's S season, the junior-high aged Hotaru has Healing Hands and is an Ill Girl who suffers seizures. A flashback has her schoolmates isolating her for both reasons.
      • Much later, several tactics are used against Yuuko/Eudial from the Witches 5: her fellow Witches gossip behind her back, her locker is tampered with, and slugs (which she HATES) are put in her stuff. The culprit is another Witch, Mimi aka Mimete, who then tampers with Eudial's car and kills her - and also puts slugs on the brakes as a finishing touch.
  • In Ashita e Attack, the seniors of Tachibana Highschool's original volleyball team pulled this via subjecting the younger members to Training from Hell, until one of the girls died in a freak accident. Months later the Alpha Bitch of the school, who also happens to be the captain of the basketball team, tells this to some girls who initially want to join the newborn volleyball team led by The Protagonist Mimi, so she can make them join her club instead.
  • Bullying is a BIG part of the manga Life, and the main perpetrator is the Alpha Bitch Manami Anzai.
  • Azusa, the Alpha Bitch from Megumu's school in So Cute it Hurts, likes threatening and pouring drinks over a specific girl she hates, Shino. Mitsuru-as-Megumi sees this and rescues Shino, also calling out Azusa on her BS. She bullies Shino because she is her dad's illegitimate daughter, and he favors Shino while neglecting her.

Shonen Manga/Anime

Jousei Manga/Anime

  • In Private Actress, the junior-high student Fuyuka Sakuragi dies mysteriously in her Boarding School and it turns out she was heavily bullied by the local Alpha Bitch and her Girl Posse before her death (ie, she was a talented artist and her sketchbooks were ripped and stepped on, she could not make phone calls without being spied on, etc). The protagonist infiltrates the school to gather information and see if the bullies actually had something to do with Fuyuka's demise. Yes, they did. Fuyuka at first was in good terms with the girls, but witnessed the Alpha Bitch Kanna's murder of an older student (who was The Rival to her in the Drama Club) and was intending to report her to the police no matter what, so Kanna and her "friends" all but bullied her to death.

Seinen Manga/Anime

  • When Veronica Madaraki from Franken Fran stays for a month in an all girl's school, the girls (save for one, Yura) bully the Hell out of her.
  • In Wandering Son Shuichi Nitori is a trans girl who became aware of it rather early in her life, so she's often bullied by other students.
  • Mohiro Kitoh often includes bullying in his manga:
    • Narutaru: Shiina's close friend Hiroko is an extremely booksmart girl, so the Alpha Bitch Aki and her Girl Posse (Mihaya, Hiroka, and the more reluctant Miyoko) beat her up, force feed her bugs, and once even rape her with a test tub to force her lower her brilliant grades. It backfires fatally on the gang when Hiroko gets her own Mon, Oni, and she uses it to kill them (and in Aki's case, force feed her bugs and rape her before killing her)
    • Bokurano: One of the pilots, Mako "Nakama" Nakarai, is bullied at her junior high because her Hot Mom Miko is an ex-prostitute and now bar hostess. In the manga, after Mako saves the life of the ringleader and her boyfriend before she finishes her battle and dies as a result, said Alpha Bitch is shown acting more humbly and maturely.

Other Manga/Anime

Other Media

Fan Works

  • The Fire Emblem: Three Houses fic saved by the bell has Hapi subjected to this by some jocks, who corner her in the hallway and make fun of her for being the new kid. She's rescued by Hilda threatening to sic her big brother on them.
    • Another fic, Life is a Fear, has Bernadetta subjected to frightening amounts of this. The bullies gang up on her in the hallways, steal her laptop, send threatening notes, and throw things at her head - before demanding she give them back. Then things get worse, before Edelgard accidentally kills Bernadetta's father.
  • This Dangan Ronpa fic has Peko rescuing Mikan from a group of pissed-off girls who beat her up for daring to heal the legs of Junko, who they're obsessed with. This kick-starts a romance between the two.


Live-Action TV

  • In the Soap Opera Oshin, a little Oshin is subjected to this when she tries to go to school in Yamagata, since she's a farm girl who also has to take care of her boss's baby. She gives up going there, and later she learns to read and write thanks to a man named Shunsaku whom she has an Intergenerational Friendship with.
    • Decades later, one of Oshin's children (her youngest son, Nozomi) is heavily bullied at school when it's revealed that he's adopted.
  • Boys Before Flowers, the K-drama version of Hana Yori Dango, begins when the heroine Jan-Di (Tsukushi) stops a rich boy from taking his own life. It turns out he has been horribly bullied at his elite school, with his bullies even encouraging the kid to kill himself - so the school authorities give Jan-Di a scholarship to try hushing the bad press that the institution itself is getting over the incident.
  • In CSI: Miami, a boy who's bullied at school has to be talked down from hanging himself.



  • He's Dedicated to Roses has Mi-Mi, the local Alpha Bitch, tormenting the heroine I-Da and treating her as pretty much her maid since I-Da's parents work for her rich family and she cannot retaliate. As an extension, she's harassed by the kids at their school as well. It's gloriously inverted when Mi-Mi's deals are revealed to the school and she's subjected to quite the Humiliation Conga.


Video Games

  • In Tokimeki Memorial, when a player commits the mistake of having the Player Character focus only on the chosen Love Interest and ignore all the other potential girlfriends, they will get so jealous that they'll become all too willing to use "bombs", aka weaponizing the "rumors tactics" towards the PC. If the player doesn't take measures to defuse those bombs, they will explode, heavily damaging relationships with all the characters the PC knows. It's very hard to recover from a gone-off bomb with regular characters, and an essential Game Over with Nintendo Hard characters such as Shiori Fujisaki or Kei Hazuki.
  • According to the mangas, Kyo Kusanagi from The King of Fighters began his fighting career as a Bully Hunter who protected kids being harassed.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 2 reveals that both Lisa Silverman and Eikichi Mishina were harassed as kids, which explains a lot about their behavior.
    • In Persona 3 Portable, the Female Protagonist can befriend an older girl named Saori Hasegawa who's bullied by other students (especially via the gossip tactic)
    • Persona 4 has Kanji Tatsumi, who is bullied (espeically by girls) for having what's seen as "unmanly" hobbies like knitting and sewing. In his first scene, he's also falsely accused of being a bully.
      • Ai Ebihara used to be harassed before her parents got rich, especially for having been a Fat Girl in these days. Now she's a deeply-wounded Alpha Bitch who's very cold to others in an attempt to hide how much such things hurt her.
    • Persona 5 has Shinya Oda being harassed due to his No Social Skills.
  • Shin Megami Tensei V has Sahori Itsukishima, Tao Isonokami's best friend, who's horribly bullied by two girls who have grudges against her. She grits her teeth and wiothstands it, until a certain demon named Lahmu comes to her...
  • In My Child Lebensborn, the Player Character temporarily takes care of a German-Norwegian child (a boy named Klaus or a girl named Karin) who's a "product" of the infamous Lebensborn plan from World War II. As a consequence, the kid is heavily bullied at school - and the bullying is encouraged by the adults, especially the local Sadist Teacher.

Visual Novels

  • The Dangan Ronpa franchise, set in very... special schools, features MANY cases of bullying. Students like Touko Fukawa, Chihiro Fujisaki, Mikan Tsumiki and Kazukichi Souda have been at the receiving end for it.
  • In School Days, Makoto hates bullying. Whether he's a Jerkass or a Nice Guy, he will ALWAYS despise it to no ends.
    • One of the most important plot deals is how one of two the principal love interests in the game, Kotonoha Katsura, is constantly and severely bullied by the local Alpha Bitch Otome and her Girl Posse. Heck, one of Kotonoha's prospect routes is so made of this trope that if Makoto does NOT stand up for her, she will snap massively and murder his other main prospect girl, Sekai Saionji.
    • One of the spin-off games, Cross Days, is from the perspective of Kotonoha's classmate Yuuki Ashikaga, who's among the few who tries to help Kotonoha deal with the bullying. His friend and potential girlfriend Roka Kitsuregawa is also being bullied by Otome and Co., though that's because Otome's dad cheats on Otome's mother with Roka's mom, so Otome hates Roka by association.
  • Yume Miru Kusuri features this, especially in Aeka Shiraki's route since she AND the Player Character are targeted for bullying by the local Alpha Bitch, Kyouka.
  • The Prince of Tennis Dating Sim Gakuensai no Oujisama has the Player Character being bullied if she's a Hyoutei student and the chosen boyfriend is Keigo Atobe. If Atobe finds out he's upset at the girl for not telling him about it, and can even protect her from the bullies.
  • One of the many, MANY tactics that Ayano "Yandere-chan" Aishi from Yandere Simulator can use against her love rivals. If she spreads rumors about one of said rivals, she can manipulate the Alpha Bitch Musume and her Girl Posse into harassing the girl and turn the rest of the school against her, using tactics like "desk defacing" and "putting flowers on the desk to imply death wishes" among others.
    • Musume is also implied to apply Clothing Damage to others with a knife.
    • Ayano can do this more directly to Kokona Haruka from the Drama Club, via spreading rumors about her sluttiness. Worse, Kokona does engage in sexual activities like Compensated Dating, but it's due to huge personal problems (and Yandere-chan can potentially help her with them too, should the player decide to do so).

Western Animation

  • Katie Holt aka Pidge from Voltron: Legendary Defender was at the receiving end of school bullying before being a Paladin, with her classmates calling her a nerd and laughing at her when she was excited about something scientific.
  • Lisa Simpson got the silent treatment in variety in "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson," when she was struggling with a practice machine gun at military school. Later, when she slips and almost falls during a dangerous final test, the other cadets are yelling for her to fall to her death! Luckily, this leads to a moment of awesome when Bart alone tells her she can do it, and it helps her get right back to the task and finish the exam with flying colors.
    • Lisa herself pulled this once, getting so jealous of the Cute Bookworm Alison that she planned to vandalize her school diorama to make her look bad. Luckily, her conscience got the better of her in the end, but still, it was not one of her better moments.
  • The girls of South Park Elementary did this to poor Bebe Stevens when she developed breasts earlier than any of them and the boys started fawning over her. They spread rumors about her being a slut and started excluding her from their activities.
    • Cartman tries to pull this on Wendy in a later episode, writing a book about what a whore she is to force her to give up her position as Student Council President. Only a small group of kids believe him, Wendy's boyfriend Stan has a fit, and Wendy just rolls her eyes and tries to ignore Cartman's bullshit. The worst anyone does is Butters coming over to her house and peeing all over her front door, to which Wendy and her father's reaction is a Flat What.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Spin-Off Equestria Girls is a High School AU, so it includes this. Sunset Shimmer is introduced applying the "cornering the victim and verbally harassing them" tactic to Canterlot High's Fluttershy, and the recently arrived Twilight Sparkle chases her away.
    • The students of Crystal Prep HS are no strangers to this.

Real Life

  • Silent treatment, cornering, and malicious gossip are very common in online fandoms and on social media. If one person with a lot of clout hates someone, they'll convince others to ignore that person (blocking, muting, refusing to comment on their content or posts), ganging up on them in comment threads (also called dogpiling), or using anonymous communities and forums to spread rumors about the person. Sending death threats and suicide baiting have also become more popular in the late New Tens.